Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Erectile Dysfunction, JAMA / 26.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_51050" align="alignleft" width="200"]Rachel Grashow PhD Research Associate Department of Environmental Health Football Players Health Study at Harvard University Harvard T.H. Chan Dr. Grashow[/caption] Rachel Grashow PhD Research Associate Department of Environmental Health Football Players Health Study at Harvard University Harvard T.H. Chan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It has been previously shown in small studies of boxers and military personnel that traumatic brain injuries can damage the pituitary gland, which serves as the "master controller" of hormone function in the brain. These studies on individuals at risk for repeated head injury found that hits on the head caused deficiencies in certain hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone, which could have downstream effects on sexual function. Only one large study was conducted that used Taiwanese health insurance data and looked at single traumatic brain injuries and risk of erectile function (ED). In that study, men who experienced a single severe TBI were more than twice as like to report ED after their injury. In light of these findings, important questions remain regarding whether multiple head injuries are associated with pituitary or sexual dysfunction in a large population with other ED-related health issues. The Football Players Health Study at Harvard University asked former NFL players to fill out a questionnaire that interrogated demographic factors, football-related exposures and current health conditions. Specifically, we asked participants to self-report the frequency of ten different concussion symptoms experienced during professional play, as well as whether a clinician had ever recommended or prescribed medication for low testosterone or ED.  
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Nature, Science / 11.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50651" align="alignleft" width="200"]Adnan Hirad, PhD MD Candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Dr. Hirad[/caption] Adnan Hirad, PhD MD Candidate, Medical Scientist Training Program University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concussion is defined based on the manifestation of observable signs and symptoms (e.g., dizziness, difficulty with concentration, loss of consciousness, inter alia). A non-concussive head injury is when someone hits their head but does not exhibit the signs and symptoms of concussion -- IE concussion is defined by observable signs, and sub-concussive is defined as sustaining  head impacts similar (in magnitude and mechanism) to those sustained with concussion without observable signs and/or symptoms. These hits are a problem not only in football, but also with IED/bomb blasts experienced during war and potentially rugby. 
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease / 26.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50454" align="alignleft" width="159"]Dermot Phelan, MD, PhD Director of the Sports Cardiology Center Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio Dr. Phelan[/caption] Dermot Phelan, MD, PhD Director of the Sports Cardiology Center Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well recognized that long-term elite endurance athletes are at higher risk of atrial fibrillation.  We wished to evaluate whether this held true for primarily strength-type athletes. We had the opportunity to screen almost 500 former NFL athletes.  It became clear that we were seeing more atrial fibrillation than one would expect during the screenings.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics / 11.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50220" align="alignleft" width="144"]Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital  Dr. Rose[/caption] Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director of the Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Very limited data has been collected in children while they are playing contact sports to study the relationship between repetitive head impacts and neurocognitive outcomes.  We previously published a 1-year analysis of youth tackle football players and found no association between the number or severity of head impacts and performance on neurocognitive testing before to after the football season.  We are now reporting the results from the 2nd year of our study, tracking children through two seasons of football participation. We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 and 2017 football seasons.  In the total group of 166 players age 9-18, one outcome measure (processing speed), out of the 23 outcome measures studied, declined over time.  However, several other measures that also assessed processing speed did not decline.  Neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance over the course of the two seasons.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics / 26.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital Assistant professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State UniversitySean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital Assistant professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The link between sub-concussive head impacts and declines in neurocognitive function has been reported by some studies, yet refuted by others.  There is very little evidence that has been collected in children as they are sustaining these head impacts. We initiated a multi-year study of youth football players to provide a more in-depth look at the question.  We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 football season.  112 players age 9-18 completed a battery of neurocognitive tests before and after the football season. We found that neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance from pre to post-season.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics / 17.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Spring Soccer” by terren in Virginia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Roland Rössler PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Dept of Public and Occupational Health Amsterdam Collaboration on Health and Safety in Sports VU University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have shown that exercise-based injury prevention programmes can reduce the number of sport injuries. However, no previous study investigated the prevention of football (soccer) injuries in children under the age of 14 years [1], even though the number of football players under 14 years of age could be estimated as around 15 million worldwide. In comparison, only about 100,000 players, so 150 times less, are considered professional players (earning enough money to live from playing football). The large number of children playing football and the fact that every year about 10% of these players sustain an injury, indicates the relevance of injury prevention in this population. Based on the existing “11+” programme (that has been designed for players from the age of 14 years onwards) and our epidemiological data on injuries in football players under 14 years of age [2, 3], we developed and pilot tested an injury prevention programme for 7- to 13-year-old children (called “11+ Kids”) with an international group of experts.[4] We designed the present cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate whether the “11+ Kids” programme reduces the incidence of injuries in children’s football.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 19.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36992" align="alignleft" width="90"]Michael Alosco, PhD NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease & CTE Center Boston University School of Medicine  Dr. Alosco[/caption] Michael Alosco, PhD NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease & CTE Center Boston University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: TThe goal of this study was to investigate whether playing youth tackle football, particularly before the age of 12, is associated with worse emotional, behavioral, and cognitive difficulties later in life. Participants in this study included 214 former amateur and professional American football players who were part of the LEGEND study at Boston University. Participants had an average age of 51. 43 played high school football, 103 played college football, and there were 68 professional American football players. The former players were divided into two groups: those who began playing tackle football before age 12 and those who began at age 12 or older. Participants received telephone-administered cognitive tests and completed online measures of depression, behavioral regulation, apathy, and executive functioning, such as initiating activity, problem-solving, planning, and organization. Results from former players who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 were compared to those of participants who started playing at age 12 or later. The study showed that participation in tackle football before age 12 increased the odds for having problems with behavioral regulation, apathy and executive functioning by two-fold and increased the odds for clinically elevated depression scores by three-fold. These findings were independent of the total number of years the participants played football or at what level they played, such as high school, college, or professional. Even when a specific age cutoff was not used, younger age of exposure to tackle football corresponded with worse clinical status.
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA / 25.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36085" align="alignleft" width="150"]Daniel H. Daneshvar, M.D., Ph.D. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center Team Up Against Concussions | Founder Boston University Dr. Daneshvar[/caption] Daniel H. Daneshvar, M.D., Ph.D. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center Team Up Against Concussions | Founder Boston University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with repetitive head impacts. CTE was first described in JAMA in 1928. In the 99 years since, just over 100 cases of CTE have been described in the world’s literature. This study nearly doubles the number of reported cases of CTE, with 177 cases of CTE in football players. Of note, 110 of the 111 athletes who played in the NFL had CTE. This study represents the largest and the most methodologically rigorous description of a series of patients with CTE ever published. Such a richness of data regarding the clinical and pathological features of CTE has never been previously compiled. As such, this study represents an important advance to the medical literature and an enormous scientific advance in our understanding of  chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Occupational Health / 10.02.2015

Prof.dr. Judith K. Sluiter Principal Investigator Manager KMKA: Kenniscentrum Medische Keuringen in Arbeid Nationaal secretaris voor ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health) Coronel Instituut voor Arbeid en Gezondheid, Academisch Medisch Centrum / UvA Meibergdreef AmsterdamMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof.dr. Judith K. Sluiter Principal Investigator Manager KMKA: Kenniscentrum Medische Keuringen in Arbeid Nationaal secretaris voor ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health) Coronel Instituut voor Arbeid en Gezondheid, Academisch Medisch Centrum / UvA Meibergdreef Amsterdam Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Prof. Sluiter: Professional footballers contain a group of employees working in a job with specific job demands. The occupational guidance and prevention of decreased work functioning of workers in these kinds of jobs should receive more attention. The mental health of professional footballers receive less attention compared to their physical health. We studied the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems and psychosocial difficulties in a group of current and former professional footballers, and we explored the association between having had psychosocial stressors and the health conditions under study. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: The response rate was 29% with available data from 253 footballers. In current players, the prevalence of mental health complaints ranged from 5% (burnout) to 26% (anxiety/depression). In former players, the prevalence ranged from 16% (burnout) to 39% (anxiety/depression). A small percentage of players had low self-esteem (3-5%). One quarter to two-fifth of the players showed adverse nutrition behaviour. Small but significant association between experiencing lower social support (OR=1.1) and having had recent life events (OR=1.4-1.6) and mental health complaints were found in current players. Having had severe injuries was associated with better nutrition behavior. In former players, having had life events showed a preventive effect on smoking (OR=0.4) and having had previous surgery was significantly associated with current smoking behavior (OR=1.9).
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA / 14.05.2014

Patrick S. F. Bellgowan, PhD Laureate Institute for Brain Research Faculty of Community Medicine, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OklahomaMedicalResearch Interview with: Patrick S. F. Bellgowan, PhD Laureate Institute for Brain Research Faculty of Community Medicine, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Bellgowan: These results demonstrate 14% and 24% smaller hippocampal volumes in collegiate football players with and without a history of concussion relative to education-, sex- and age-matched controls participants.  Further, the number of years of tackle football experience was correlated with smaller hippocampi and slower baseline reaction times.  The hippocampus plays a key role in memory and emotional regulation.  Volumetrics of other medial temporal lobe structures (I.e. The amygdala) did NOT show differences among groups suggesting that this effect is localized to the hippocampus.